I’m Not Dead Yet
February 20th, 2009 by Sonja

I'm not dead yet ...

Wow … I took a little blog vacation there.  I didn’t mean to.  In fact, my writing has really suffered for the last few months.  I think I’ve finally found out why.

I was beginning to think I was going to have to say a fond farewell and just turn my back on this place I’ve called home for the past few years.  The thought was breaking my heart.  So I just wasn’t doing anything at all.  But I didn’t have anything to write either.  And well … let me tell you the story.

In some ways it starts with my dad.  But if I tell you that part now, I’ll be giving away the ending.  I’ll just say that there is an autoimmune disorder that runs in my family and leave you hanging with that for the moment.

In other ways it also starts about sixteen or seventeen years ago as well when one of my doctors noticed that something was enlarged.  It was mysterious, there was no genesis for this.  And, apparently nothing to worry about; no tumors or growths.  It was just enlarged.  So we waited and watched.  Then a few years ago it shrank back.

And then this also starts with my fall off the cliff three years ago.  As it turns out depression and panic attacks are markers of this malady I am currently dealing with.  So what is it?

Well … here’s the story.  Around the time of the Inaugural Ball (for which I still owe you photos, although there are not many), I got a low grade infection/irritation in my nether regions.  It was not a big deal and something I’ve dealt with many, many times in my adult life.  I did not go to the doctor for several weeks as I was trying to heal on my own.  It didn’t work.  Went to the doctor.  He prescribed a round of antibiotics.  But it wasn’t long enough.  So they called in another round of antibiotics.

Through all of this I was just exhausted.  I can’t even begin to describe how very tired I was all.  the.  time.  I would fall asleep in my chair around 8 every evening and do nothing all day.    I was so cold all the time.  And gaining weight just looking at food.

I felt as though I was not shaking the low grade infection even on the second round of antibiotics.  So I went back to the doctor.  To my actual doctor this time, not just anyone in the practice.  At some point in the past month, I’d had blood work done.  Lo and behold … my thyroid is beginning to quit.  This explains almost everything.

It explains why I can’t hold a train of thought long enough to write.  Or even read.

Why my hair has been falling out in handfuls for three years.

Why, although my panic has been controlled, we can’t get it to go away completely.

Same for the depression.

Why (as my brother with the same issue said) I can’t walk by sandwich without gaining three pounds.

Why I can’t stay awake past 8 in the evening.

And several other things that I can’t remember right now.  I’ve joined my family’s dysfunctional thyroid club (with my father and my brother).   So my doctor put me on synthetic thyroid hormone.  Things are beginning to clear up for me.

I’m doing some research and will continue to do so on what the best form of treatment for this is.  I know that tweaking the hormone replacement can takes months or even years.  But it’s do-able.  For the first time in a long time I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I might even find me there.  That is good.

6 Responses  
  • Heidi writes:
    February 20th, 20098:45 amat

    Welcome to the club. 😛

    It does take awhile, but there IS hope. I’m on natural thyroid hormone (Armour), and we’ve been working with my dose for two years now, and I’m finally finding “me” again with the latest two increases. I hung out at too-low-a-dose for too long because of doctors who insisted that my numbers were now normal so I didn’t need any more. Thankfully my current doctor listens to ME more than just labs…apparently some people are “thyroid resistant” which means their labs can be normal or even high, but the hormone isn’t getting into the cells. Anyway he’s been raising the dose with me and the difference is mind-blowing. Depression….GONE. Brain fog….GONE. Finally stopped gaining weight (now to start losing!)… My hair is thicker than it’s been in years. This stuff is amazing!

    Good luck with everything and all your study…I’d still love to get together sometime soon and swap stories!

  • Jamie Arpin-Ricci writes:
    February 20th, 200910:05 amat

    Praying and walking with ya!

  • Lyn writes:
    February 20th, 200910:29 amat

    I’m in the club too :-) I thought I had on and off flu for months before mine was finally diagnosed. I’ve always been on the same low does, but it certainly does the trick! The worst thing for me was remembering to take it every morning! If I forgot one day then I really knew about it the following day – the fatigue hit me! I hope you’re feeling more yourself soon :-)

  • Maria writes:
    February 20th, 200911:32 amat

    So glad you’re on the way back to health!

  • cindy writes:
    February 20th, 20098:28 pmat

    blessings to you Sonja.

  • Jaye writes:
    February 24th, 20092:05 amat

    I am constantly amazed by the stories of people whose doctors have missed this disease despite the obvious symptoms. I am much better now after using natural therapies but I have found that I still need to test myself every 6 months to make sure my therapies are working and the doses are right. I also found in the beginning that the blood tests I’d taken didn’t give me all the answers. After much looking and asking I found a great site with great prices which I continue to use. Canary Club.org tests for thyroid but also for adrenals and reproductive glands. It was the adrenals in conjunction with the thyroid that was causing the severity of my symptoms. Good luck – get well and keep checking to make sure you really are on the right path.

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